3 Steps to Building a 2018 Content Calendar

Let’s face it; we can all be more organized. And one of the best ways to be more organized and therefore more productive in 2018 is to create a content calendar. A content calendar will help you and your small business do more with less and focus on what’s important, not necessarily on what’s urgent. So let’s look at the three steps to building your 2018 content calendar.

Step One: Define

Defining your audience should include influencers, new talent, sales, etc. which can be segmented further based on need. For example, you may segment by industry knowledge, from novice to expert and create content for each, or around product interest. Weight each segment based on their value to your business so you know how to prioritize your content. If you know, identify what type of content each segment likes to consume. A novice customer may like infographics while an industry expert may need whitepapers. If you don’t know, test it! Use this information to create key themes for your 2018 content.

Step Two: Calculate

Do a content audit to identify what content you already have around the key themes you identified earlier. You’ll end up with a list of content you have, content you need to update, and content you need to create. You probably already know how much time and money are needed to create different types of content so you should be able to get a good sense of what you’ll actually be able to accomplish in 2018. You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.

Step Three: Calendarize

First, take a calendar of 2018 and identify major industry events, tradeshows, product launches, etc. and align the posting and promotion of appropriate content around these events. Why? Because it’s easy.

Then, determine when you will need major content produced based on the information in step two. Finally, you won’t be able to set topics for nurturing content like blogs, so set time for regular editorial planning. Depending on your business, you may choose weekly, monthly or quarterly planning sessions. These sessions should include a review of last quarter’s results: visits, time spent with content, attribution, etc.

A content calendar is a powerful tool, but be sure to stay flexible to capitalize on unforeseen needs over the course of the year. And with your content calendar in place, you’ll find you’re better able to absorb these shocks.

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